tv Democracy Now LINKTV November 8, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
11/08/19 11/08/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from orangebuburg, south carolina, this is democracy now! of thousands of people are dying prematurely because of air pollution. that is more than the from gun violence. i force i, it is african-americans and latinos who are actually losing their lives. amy: the first-ever presidential forum of environmental justice is taking place tonight here at south carolina state university tonight. we will speak to local leaders
and environmental justice advocates. then we remember the orangeburg massacre. it was here february 8, 1968, that south carolina highway patrolman opened fire on unarmed student protesters here at south carolina state university, killing three and wounding 28. boom.m, boom, boom, students are hollering and yelling and running. by this time, i went into a slopope near t the campus, the t end of the campus and kneeled down. i got up to r run and i took one step and that is all i could remember. i took that one step and got hit in the back. when i got hit in ththe back, ts is when i got paralyzed. amy: we willll hear from survivs of the massacre and speak to the civil rirights photograpapher cl williams who has spent decades
trying to raise awareness of this largely ignored moment in american history. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a senior state department official george kent told impeachment investigators that president trump's personal attorney rudy giuliani carried out campaign of lies to smear u.s. ambassador to ukraine marie yananovitch before she was abruptly recalled from her post, according to a full transcript of kent's closed-door testimony thursday. he is slated to testify next wednesday on the first day of televised hearings in the impeachment inquiry into whether president trump withheld military aid from ukraine in order to pressure the ukrainian president to investigate trump's political rival joe biden and his son.
reports thek times" ukraine president was prepared bow to trump's demands and was planning to announce the investigations in an interview with cnn on september 13. but only days before the scheduled interview, the trump administration released the $400 million in aid after news about the freeze leaked, sparing the ukrainian president from having to announce the investigation. the united states and china are pledging that an initial trade it would remove some tariffs and a move that could de-escalate the ongoing trade war between the two countries. the initial trade deal has not yet been finalized. since taking office, president trump has levied tariffs on $360 billion worth of chinese goods. a midnight self-massacre. that was the plan hatched by some senior trump administration officials who considered resigning en masse last year to
sound the alarm about trump's conduct. they ultimately rejected the idea over concerns it would further destabilize the government. the aborted warning is one of a series of revelations in a forthcoming book titled "a warning." its author is an anonymous senior official within the trump administration who published an anonymous op-ed in "the new york times" last year headlined "i am part of the resistance inside the trump administration." in the book, he describes senior officials waking up and trying to respond to trump's overnight twitter announcements, writing -- "it's like showing up at the nursing home at daybreak to find your elderly uncle running pantsless across the courtyard and cursing loudly about the cafeteria food, as worried attendants tried to catch him. you're stunned, amused, and embarrassed all at the same time. only your uncle probably wouldn't do it every single day, his words aren't broadcast to
the public, and he doesn't have to lead the u.s. government once he puts his pants on." the author also claims trump once asked white house lawyers to write a bill to send to congress aimed at reducing the number of federaral judges after various judges had thwarted trump's policies. trump reportedly said -- "can wjust get ridid of the judges? let's get rid of the judges. there shouldn't be any at all, really." this according to the forthcoming book "a warning." the billionaire former new york city mayor michael bloomberg is reportedly preparing to jump into the 2020 presidential race. "the new york times" reports bloomberg has sent staffers to alabama to gather signatures in order to qualify him for the primary. his possible 2020 bid comes as he is reportedly skeptical that former vice president joe biden can beat out his progressive challengers -- massachusetts senator elizabeth warren and vermont senator bernie sanders
-- in the democratic primary. democratic presidential candidate senator bernie sanders unveiled his immigration plan thursday promising to abolish immigration and customs enforcement, ice, to push for a path to citizenship, cease deportations, and immediately grant legal status to the nearly 2 million immigrants who are eligible for deferred action for childhood arrivals, or daca. sanders said he would accomplish many of these reforms through executive actions. sanders also vowed to end family separation at the border and allow asylum seekers to remain in the united states while their cases are resolved. he also said he would halt the construction of trump's border wall, which has already begun construction in the sonorann desert in arizona. undocumented students across the united states are walking out of school today in solidarity with immigrants who have deferred action for childhood arrivals,
an obama-era program that grants work permits and deportation relief to nearly 1 million undocumented people who were brought to the country as children. next week, the supreme court will begin to hear oral arguguments in lawsuits dendndig the trump administrationon preserve daca, which trump tried to kill in 2017. under the banner of home is here, dozens of immigrants with daca have led a 16-day march from new york to washington, d.c., to pressure the supreme court to save the program. the online news outlet quartz reports the department have homeland security plans to have biometric data on hundreds of millions of people by y 2022. in a recent presentation, which was reviewed by quartz, dhs said it expects to have a database containing the fingerprints, as well as the face and iris scans, of nearly 260 million people traveling in and out of the united states -- raising major
privacy concerns over the agency's growing surveillance efforts. in iraq, security forces are continuing their bloody crackdown against the massive anti-government protests sweeping the country. on thursday, forces killed five protesters in the southern city of basra. today, there are reports of another five protesters killed in the capital baghdad. protesters have taken to the streets across iraq for over a month, demanding jobs, better public services, and an end to government corruption. in bolivia, tensions are rising over last month's disputed presidential election, in which bolivian president evo morales was declared the winner of a controversial fourth term. some members of the opposition have disputed the results, claiming election fraud. on wednesday, opposition protesters kidnapped a mayor loyal to president morales, forcibly cut her hair, doused her in red paint, and paraded
her through the streets. this is the mayor. >> i am with the truth and i'm not afraid to say my truth. i am in a free country and i'm not going to be silenced. if you want me dead, kill me. and now i say for this movement, for change, i'm going to get my life. amy: that was mayor patricia arsay of the bolivian town of vinto. anti-government demonstrations also have been growing in the capital la paz. this is marco pumari. >> is our democracy is still trampled over, then we will not leave love without moving those from the palace who are persecuting us. amy: brazil has sided with the united states for the first time in choosing not to condemn the u.s. embargo against cuba, during the annual united nations resolution vote thursday.
the u.n. general assembly still voted overwhelmingly to condemn the u.s. embargo, with 187 out of 193 countries voting against the united states. this is cuban foreign minister bruno rodriguez. >> the blockade has caused incalculable humanitarian violations. it qualifies as an act of genocide adopted in 191948. there's not once in the family ththat has not suffer the consequences of this. presidentazil, former luiz inacio lula da silva could be freed from prison following a brazilian supreme court ruling to end the mandatory imprisonment of people convicted of a crime who have lost their first appeal. the ruling restores a previous policy that allows people convicted of a crime to exhaust all of their appeal options
before being sent to prison. in addition to lula, the supreme court's decision could help free some 5000 prisoners who are still appealing their convictions. meanwhile, a far-right brazilian journalist tried to punch pulitzer prize winning journalist and co-founder of the intercept glenn greenwald after a heated argument during the live taping of a radio show. the far right journalist augusto nunes had previously made comments about greenwald's family. in hong kong, a student has died from injuries sustained after he fell during a clash between student protesters and police earlier this week. the death of chow tsz-lok has sparked widespread anger among student protesters, whose demonstrations have rocked hong kong. this is hong kong activist joshua wong. >> we mourn togegether and we ue the people, where black teachers together today and tomorrow to
.how our solidarity and unity now is the time for the government to set t up the independent investigation on the clash. it is unrereasonable for how the government allowed police attempt to murder hong kong people, which proves reformed police is a must. in new york city, long-time immigration activist marco saavedra attended his final asylum hearing on thursday, in which he argued his life would be at risk if he were sent to mexico. the immigration judge overseeing saavedra's case will have a final decision by january 17, 2020. saavedra has been living in the united states since he was three years old. he has been involved in several high-profile immigration actions. in 2012, he purposely got arrested by federal authorities
in order to infiltrate the geo group's for-profit immigration jail, the broward transitional center, and investigate allegations of human rights abuses inside the secretive facility. in 2013, marco saavedra self-deported to mexico with eight other dreamers to protest the separation of immigrant families under the obama administration. to see our full interview with marco saavedra before his final asylum hearing this week, go to democracynow.org. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we're broadcastining from south carolina state university in orangeburg, where tonight, on this very stage, the first-ever presidential forum on environmental justice will be held. i will be co-moderating with former epa official mustafa ali.
all democratic and republican candidates were invited. those that accepted and are coming to this forum are senators elizabeth warren and cory booker, tom steyer, marianne williamson, john delaney, and joe sestak. the forum will be hosted by the national black caucus of state legislators and leaders from frontline communities. south carolina is a crucial state for the 2020 presidential race and one of the first that will have a democratic primary following the new hampshire primary and caucuses in iowa and nevada. it will be the first measure of democratic candidates' strengths with black voters. in 2007, a democratic presidential primary debate also took place right here on this stage. south carolina is a state where african american communities and people of color on the frontlines have been fighting for justice in the face of extreme environmental racism for years. south carolina has repeatedly
been pummeled by climate-fueled hurricanes, including hurricane florence, which swept through the south in 2018 causing epic floods. its black residents have faced disproportionate air and water pollution and exposure to environmental hazards. but south carolina is also home to some of the m most successful responses to environmental racism. the town of spartanburg was once known as "the devil's triangle" for its two abandoned industrial sites and a 30-acre dump. but it's now being hailed as a model for environmental justice after the community worked with the environmental protection agency to invest in health centers and revitalize formerly devastated neighborhoods. wellll, we're joined here in orangeburg, south carolina, by mustafa ali, tonight's co-moderator and the former head of the environmental justice program at the environmental protection agency. he's a former leader in the hip hop caucus, and is now the vice president of the national
wildlife federation. welcome to democracy now! it is great to be with you here in orangeburg. >> thank you for having me. amy: talked about why you have chosen this site. later in the broadcast, we will talk about this moment in history 51 years ago when state troopers opened fire on students , before kent state, before jackson state. but right now, w we are talking about this moment in history in 2020 when there are a record number of candidates running for president. why have you chosen this forum forumth in south carolina and why the first presidential forum on environment of justice? what does that mean, environmental justice? >> it was import to have it at a minority serving institution to makeke sure ththat folks undersd that the students who go to school here care about whahat is happening, they are voters along with all of the community
residents. also here in south carolina,a, t is ground zero for the pollution ththat folks are dealing with, withth housing issues,s, transportation issues, and the impacts from climate change. the flood set of happen have played a d devastating role in people's lives and bombers livis cash all of thesese different folks are coming together but also, , as you shared with folk, there also these incredibly leaders who are helplping to mae real change happened.d. we have the environmental injustices they're happening that folks are focusing on, but we a also have the change happening, how people are revitalizing committees. reverend leo w woodberry, harold mitchell, omar mohammed -- so many incredible leaders who are here right now making change happen. this issue of environment of justice. scene and held a public town hallll with the candidates on climate change. what does the difference? >> environment of justice is dealing with the disproportional
impacts happening inside of the community. it is important to have discussionons about climate change, but those are the symptoms of disease. the disease has been the racism come the structural inequality that continues to happen inside of communities of color. disproportionally, t those fossl fuel facilities are located in communities of color, low-income communities, and on indigenous landnds. for decades peoplple have been dealing with the public health impacts, but also those emissions are also a driver in warming of our oceans and warming up the planet. we also know the transportation routes that have been used to extract weaealth from certain communities and bring wealth into other communities and also drop pollution up plays a big role in what is going on with climate change. we have 2.2 million n miles ofof pipeline. most of that pipeline runs through indigenousus lands, loww income, white land, runs through farmers land and ends up on the gulf coast in communities of color. all of these player role in what is going on with climate change.
there's so much in the environmental justicece paradig. amy: talk about the connection between environmental justice and health, the health impacts. >> we have 100,000 people in our country who are dying prematurely from air pollution. that is more than dying from gun violence. gun violence is extremely important for us to focus on, but when we have this many pepeople who arere dying, we n o be paying attention toto the decisions that folks in washington and and state houses are making. we 1.1 million kids in our country who have been lead poison. primarily those are african-american and latinx communities and lower income committees. we have 25 million people who have asthma. 7 million kids and disproportionally african-american and latino children are the ones going to the emergency rooms and the ones losing their lives. these health impacts that are going on actually extract wealth from communities who c can least affoford to have thahawealth extracteted b because many y ti,
therere underinsured or uninsur. folks have to carry that cost. amy:y: what is yoyour assessmsmf the presidenential candidates addressing this issue? >> it is great to see folks have finally, after 400 years, have begun to actually have environmental justice platforms, climate justice platforms. it is great to see some of the candidates are actually visiting these community's, frontline communities, sitting down with leaders. but there's so much more that needs to happen because a part of this forum is about accountability. folks want to hear, what is your vision? how are you going to build an administration that has expertise from frontline communities, indigenous leaders also in that? it is great to see people saying the e words, but we need action behind the words. amy: we're talking about both the democrats and republicans. what has happened under the trump administration? >> under the t trump administration, it h has been
deadly for many of our communities because their rolled back over 85 regululations thatn many instances just had the bare minimum of protections insididef our most vulnerable community's. everything from pulling out of the clean power plant and replacing it with a's role. the clean car rule, which would others transportation routes having so much more pollution going off in those communities. moving her stuff from the paris climate accord makes no sense and it is what have huge impact on our most vulnerable community's and committees across our country in general. whohod to have leadersrsp is actually focucused on helping to protect people's lives and living up to when you take that oath. amy:y: we're going to go to bre. when we come back, we will be joined by several of the people participating in tonight's forum. again,n, we are here at south carolina state university, historically black college, what of the hbc you colleges and
universities. it is the side of the orangeburg massacre 51 years ago. and it is going to be the site tonight on this very stage of presidential forum on environmental justice, the very first. we are joined by mustafa ali, formally with hip-hop caucus. for years with the environmental protection agency. now he is vice president of the national wildlife federation and he will be co-o-moderating the form tonight with me. yes, democracy now! is here and we will be live streaming this forum tonight at 6:00 p.m. eastern standard time around the world. many stations, radio and television stations, will also be broadcasting this forum so we hope you do tune in at democracynow.org or on your local station. this is democracy now! we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from south carolina state university here in orangeburg unaware tonight on this very stage, the first ever presidential forum on environmental justice will be held. democracy now! we'll be broadcasting and live streaming beginning at 6:00 p.m. eastern. i will be co-moderating with former epa official mustafa ali, who is still with us, former epa official, formally with the hip
hop caucus, now vice president of the national wildlife federation. and we are joined by south carolina state representative gilda cobb-hunter. she represents the city of orangeburg. she is also the president of the national blalack caucus s of ste legislators. and melanie campbell joins us, president of the national coalition on black civic participation and the convener of the black women's roundtable. we welcome you all to democracy now! representative cobb-hunter, you are the first woman to represent orangeburg in the south carolina state legislature and you are representing black state legislators around the country. talked about why environment of justice is important to you and why your hosting tonight's event, tonight's first-ever forum. >> thank you for having us and we really appreciate the support of democracy now! it is important to us for a
variety of reasons. we have total dysfunction at the federal level. when we talk about the issue of environmenental justice, climame change, all politics is local. and when w we can't get action n the fefederal levelel, that leas as a state legislators to make sure whwhatever mitigations there, that we are in a position to try to geget that done. nbnbc sl alolong with h the hisc caucus will be joined tonighthty the president of the national hispanic caucus.s. what we recognize is that the isissue of environonmental juste impacts black and brown communities. so we represent these communities. we think it is important for us not to wait on congress, not to wait on the president, but for us to use the power we have as state legislators and take action. i would just e echo mustapha
ofustafa's point that six these candidates want to be president thought this issue was impoportant enough to o not just talk thehe talk, but to wawalk e walk. and we welcome them to south carolina's only state-supported historic black college and university at south carolina state. welcome to bulldog country. gilda cobb-hunter, how does it work in a state legislature run issues of environmental justice? the rightout alec, wing organization that rights legislation, particularly in t e for stateslatures -- legislatures, and one by one, following a trend in the country to cut back on regulations. how do you deal as the head of the national black caucus of state legislators in responding?
>> a part of it is what we will do here tonight. my role as president in my view is increasing members awareness of issues that impapact our constituents. wewe all know the roine issssues that a all of us care about and all of us working on. but when it comes to an issue like environment of justice, the awareness of black legislators in our view is not what it should be. so a part of our goal and a part of what we think is important is increasing our awarenessss. very strong footprint here in the south carolina legislature. they spend money. we have members who are in the national leadership of that organization for amy: the american legislative exchange council. our group,states in we have had people who did not even remove the name alec. just came in, dropped it. we haveve to be vigilt.t.
we have to statay focused on ths issue. a part of what i see us needing to do -- and that is why this forum is so important because i am told from the frontline communities that there has never been this kiki of event -- which makes it even n more appropriate that it is here. -- the way you deal with alec, i believeve the best way to eat an elephant is one small bite at a time. amy: mustafa ali, how do you see alec playing out in legislators around the country? >> they have a particular view they're trying to push. that is why it is so important for us to really educate folks and engage them in the civic process and in the legislative process so they understand they have power and that theyey can help to o frame out. enenvironmental organizizations, public health organizations, civil rights organizations all coming together to do these impacts happening inside our community can balance out those who might not necessarily have
the best intention for our communities. amy:y: melanie campbell, represt the largest loading voc within the black community and that is african-american women. talk about your organization, but the roundtable as well as the national coalition on black civic dissipation and what you're trying to accomplish. >> first of all, thank you, amy, thank you to my colleagues. it is great to be back on this campus. i was here in 2008 on a rainy day in february working on getting out the vote with our program. it is always good to be back here in orangeburg south carolina. i have not been here in a while. thank you all for the invitation to work with you a all on this project. the national coalition is been around promised 44 years. nationaloalition of organizations, not just african-american, but labor and other kinds of civil rights and social justice organizations. the black women's roundtable is
our women and girls power movement. it is like the glue for the organization. i sasay that because when you tk about the black vote, black women really need to move the black vote. that is because of our voting strength and the fact we influence our families and all of our significant others. when you say there's a big surge in the black vote, that is because black women did not just show up -- we are going to show up, but we're also going to encourage our families and communitieies to do that. many times we are leading a lot of the work and becoming more unapologetic about demanding respect for that, whether it is the democratic party or the progressive community, to understand we are not just a voting block, we are also leaders in this thing. appreciatearound -- -- i was going
to say congresswoman. >> please, don't start that. >> m my sister gilda for what they're doing here. environment of justice, it is critical when you talk about impacting health, issues impacting economic justice. because of the impact it has on our community. people, who are just a little people, who are just a little bit younger than us, demand a critical issue. amy: why isn't terminal justice so critical? >> i grew w up in florida along the coast. around -- we had hurricanes growing up. you did not have to leave home. my mother passed away three years ago. .e always had to worry now most of the time they have to leave. i have a brother that is still there who most of the time he has to get on a plane and fly to
virginia -- you can't t stay anymore. there is so much -- it is very different from what happened 30 years ago, 40 years ago. what is happening now is real impact in our communities. i can remember growing up were orange groves were beautiful. everybody had an orange grove. he was part of the economy. if you did not have a job, could go pick oranges and make a living. you can't do that. those things have been destroyed by the climate change and other kinds of things. smith, one of my best buddies, who really educated me -- amy: where i met him, one of the first conferences in baton rouge. >> back k in the day. sister.ucker, another i lived in atlanta for 20 years. my current s sister who keeps me
on this is felicia davis. understanding this issue is not -- it is intricately a p part of whatat is to l live with issues aroundnd wealth building a and w that impacts stop amy: gp like the candidates are addressing these issues? i will say that we have been doing these polls activate watching compasses, but they also say, what are they not hearing? environment of justice and climate change are key, but not number one, but like number three because consistently they host these things every month. young people are saying -- demanding that. the candidates that don't get that are going to miss getting that generation z vote and the mimillennial vote. amy: representative gilda cobb-hunter, regenesis. explain what that is. south carolinana is not only
ground zero for the problems, but also for solutions. >> before i talk about regenesis , if i could pick up on the point that melanie made about the young people and what -- which candidates are speaking to the vote or to this issue. that is a part of why nbcsl is here sponsoring this event because we can't afford to wait for the dnc or the rnc to bless this and say, ok, we're going hahave a debate. this issue impacts o our communitities. we thought itit important to stp up and say, you knowow what? to talk, you don't want about climate change? guess what? we don't need your permission t to talk about clime change. we have a vehicle that we can .se toto talk about this issue and it is important that these democratic candidates understand how this issue resonates witith young v voters, with progressive voters, with seasonened v voter. this i is an issue whose timimes
come and it is not going away. the one candidate that consistently spokeke to the isse is no longer in the race, that is governor r jay inslee. all of them do the photo ops. all of them talk the talk. they all have the talking points. but whether or notot this is specifically about whether they can get it done is what regenesis is doing here in south carorolina and has done.e. we have a lot of people who are acadademically talk about environmental justice. but what we h have in spartanbu, sosouth carolina, under the leadershipip of a formerer colle harold mitchell, project called regenesis that has reclaimed and revitalized that entire community. and he is done that in spite of. amy: he got $20,000, a grant from the epa to help clean of these contaminated sites. >> yes. leveraged $20,000 into several million, has a community that
once was a waste land, that once was the home of a fertilizer plant, h he has -- amy: this is called devil's triangle because it was so polluted. >> exactly. what is important to understand is what we need to be lifting up our people who are on the ground working, not people theorizing about it, not people who were just -- well, i will just say regenesis is a project that is the role model and to pass on just a tidbit, i donon't think a lot of people knknow because heroes rarely are recogninized n their own hometown, regenesis and its founder h harold mitchel has got to taiwan. he is known internationally. someone who doesn't just talk about it, but who actually does something. and that is the point of the platform that will be the point of your questions and mustaf'f's
questions tonight to these candidates showing up. what are you going to do ,pecifically amy: mustafa ali you have south carolina. you have the primaries and caucuses first in new hampshire and iowa, two of the whitest states. and then you have a large african-american community in south carolina. why this is so significant. so much attention is paid to the whitest states in this country simply because their first in the primary system. it means all of the candidates are gearing their plans to those states. >> you can't take our vote for granted. if you want our vote, you better show up. it sends the signal toto folks, people wanant to see you and toh you and hear firsthand what you have to share. so if you are willing to spend time in n new hampshire and in iowa sitting down with folks, i appreciate that. you need to be in the south. you know there are folks who are going to vote and you need to
actually solidify that vote by sharing with them the realness of what your vision is. what is your policy? talk to them about their kitchen tablble issues and how it is gog to be addressed. so if you are not sitting down with mrs. ramirez and her kitchen or mr. johnson on his back porch, having some conversations s as well, then people may not think you are as serious as you say you are. amy: i want to thank you all for being with us. this is only the beginning as we tonight hold this form. mustafa ali, former head of the environmental justice program at the environmental protection agency. former leader of the hip hop caucus, now vice president of the national wildlife federation. gilda cobb-hunter of orangeburg soututh carolina, president of e national black caucus of state legislators. and melanie campbell, president of the national coalition on black civic participation. also the convener of the black women's roundtable. mustafa ali and i will be co-moderating the foreign here
at south carolina state university in orangeburg tonight. if you have questions for the candidates, please, write to us 's twitter,y now! instagram, facebook. we will be live streaming and broadcasting on stations around the country starting at 6:00 p.m. eastern standard time. our website is democracynow.org. when w we come back, the orangeburg massacre. it was february 8, 1968, south carolina however troll officers opened fire on black students here at sub carlotta state university who were protesting segregated bowling alley. patrolman killed three and wounded 28. we will hear more. stay with us. ♪ [mumusic break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we're broadcasting from the martin luther king auditorium on the south cacarolina state university campus here in orangeburg. the university is the site of the 1968 orangeburg massacre, one of most violent and least remembered events of the civil rights movement. the plaque just outside this building tells the story. it was february 8, 1968. a crowd of students gathered on the campus of south carolina state to protest segregation at orangeburg's only bowling alley. after days of escalating
tensions, students started a bonfire and held a vigil on the campus to protest. dozens of police arrived on the scene. state troopers fired live ammunition into the crowd. when the shootining stopped, the students were dead, 28 wounded. the three killed were 19-year-old south carolina state students henry smith and samuel hammond, and 17-year-old high school student delayno middleton, who came to south carolina state every day after school to see his mom and get a bite to eat. although the tragedy predated the kent state shootings and jackson state killings, and it was the first of its kind on any american college campus, it received little national media attention.n. here are some of the survivors of the orangeburg massacre remembering that fateful day. this is an excerpt of an oral history project conducted by jack bass, who was a reporter at the time. this clip begins with survivor robert lee d davis. >> it was a barrage of shots.
it was maybebe six or seven seconds. boom, boom, boom, boom. students were hollering and and running. by this time, i wewent into a slope near the campus, neaear te front end of the campus and d i kneeled down. took onetoo run and i step and t that isll i couldld remember. i took thahat one step and i got hit t in the back. when i got hit in the back, this is when i got paralyzed. students were trampling over me because they were afraid. >> i dropped to the groundd immediately. within a second, two or three seconds, began to hear rounds. i felt like someone was trying to pulull off my coat.t. rounds really was was
hitting mymy coat. then i g got hit. tryiying to being hit -- prior o being hit, people started yelllling. i reremember hearing somebody laugh just before we realized we wewere being shot at.t. we got they were shooting in the air. it entered right here and just missed my spinine. i did not see much bleeding. i remember -- i remember running, getting up and moving. i think the coat that i had on probably -- foam is probably is -- compressed maybe. i don't know. i had a large overcoat on. i remember asking him, i said, "joe, can you see? am i just nicked?" i was hoping that i just got grazed, you know? and he said, "no, it look like, you know, there's a hole there, jordan." and i said, "oh, golly." you know?
and we got on to the infirmary, and there was blood all over the place. i mean, people were lying around, yelling and screaming, and the poor nurse on duty, she was -- she was a mess. you know, i mean, she had never seen anythining like that. it was worse than any combat situation. it was a b bloody -- let's put t this way, it was probably equivalent to o a combat situatn in a war. > the official count was 27 plus three, so 3030. three died, 27 injured. >> i remembeber getting shot iny face and being spun around, and instinct said, "youu got to get out of here. you got toto go to safety."" and the only thing i could think of was to get into the infirmary. >> jusust so hapnened there wawa trtrash can in frontnt of me. i was under pretty good coverage there with that trash can, see, but the trash cacan had some les under it. and that is how i got shot in the hip. the bullet come under the leg
under the trash and caught m men the hip,p, under the trash c cad caught me in the leg. if it wasn't for the trash can, i probably would have been dead. if i would have stood up, i would have been dead. bubut i had enough courage to sy there for at least 45 seconds after the shooting. and folks was running all l acrs me, crying and shooting. some of them was crawling. and i realized they did a ceasefire. that's when i got up and ran to the infirmary. when i got to the infirmary, my best friend sam, which is dead, one that they killed, he was laying in the middle of ththe floor. he was tryining to grasp for ai. and at that particular point, i didn't know i was shot. i crossed my leg i in the infirmary, and i saw a little red spot on my p pants. and i realized right then that i had been hit down there. and by sittingng down, watching
sam, getting emotional myself, when i stood up, i reached back there, i had a big apple back there. i didn't realize i got shot in the hip neither, see? i got shot in the hip that hold the muscscle, just like big as a big fifist. and i realized i got shot in the hip. i got shot twice. >> they took me to the school infirmary. and from there, i laid on the floor on a mattress. at this time, sasam hammond, we was laying heaead-to-head by eah other. and the last thing i could remember sam said -- they used to call me big dooley, because i was playing football at this time, i was weighing about 260. and this is when samam asked me, he said, "dooley, do you think i'm goining to live?" i said, "sam, yoyou're going toe all right buddy." , and the next time i look over there, he was dead. i took my hand and put it over his face like this to close his eyes, because he died with his
eyes open. amy: survivors of the orangeburg massacre in south carolina. the nine officers who opened fire that day were all acquitted. the only person convicted was cleveland sellers, member of the student nonviolent creating committee known as sncc. he was one of the organizers of the protest, convicted of a riot charge, spent seven months behind bars. he was pardoned in 1993. he would later go on to be president of the south carolina college. ononhe 40th ananniversarary of e orangeburg massacre, dememocracy now! spoke with clevelandd sellers. >>on the 40th it was a clear cae popolice opepening fire withouty provocation. there was no exchange of gunfire. the students were unarmed. it -- what precipitated it was the fact the students on that monday night went down to the
bowling alley to try to bowl. and on tuesday night when they went down, they were arrested. and at that point, you know, the state had kind of in mind a kind of watts riot, and so they began to gear up. and on the night of february 8, it probably was 300 law enforcement officers in orangeburg, and that included the fbi and army intelligence and the national guards, the local and state police. so it was kind of an armed camp there. there were so many police that they could actually have walked on the campus and arrested every student on the campus, one officer could have gone over and arrested all the students around the campus.
amy: we are joined now by a photographer determined to make sure the orangeburg massacre remains part of our national consciousness. cecil williams began documenting the civil rights movement in south carolina in the 1950's and photographed the scene in the aftermath of the orangeburg massacre. he also is the founder of the cecil williams civil rights museum here in orangeburg. we went there last night in the middle of a rainstorm. it is just open. it is astounding. it shows the photographs of that fateful day february 8 and the events leading up toto it inin e aftermath. it is great to have you witith , cecil williams. the significance of this mamassacre -- not only an orangeburg history, but i could only think if this had gotten more attention back in 196868, perhaps jackson state and kent state would not have happened. >> this was really a situation in orangeburg that should not have happened. it was 1968, years after comes in president johnson pasassed te civil rights acts.
in orangeburg, there was a popular resistance, segregated bowling alley that any citizen running -- walking along the street encounter this on a daily basis. thee students that got involved, ththey wanted to change e that. this was something that should not have been allowed to exist at the time, but i it was a reality. unfortunately, the deaths, the wounding of 70 students was a tragedy we should never foforge. amy: i want to go to a clip from the documentary "scarred justice: the orangeburg massacre 1968." this clip features roy wilkins, who was head of the n naacp at e time. >>he first n news story we rered in newew york said there e was n exchange of gunfifi. shot.ter this, the policee now,w, there was no exchange off gunfire.
there were n guns discovered on the campupuamong the stutudents hard task,to a harder than theirs. ththeirs is d difficultlt, bubuy n't hahave any dead to carry homeme andnd we do. a lot of dead frfrom way back yonder. count them over r your minds. ththese three herere on this ca, 43 dead in detroitit last year,3 dedead in newarar , riright on back through history through reconstruction, through the cicivil w war. think of all of the dedead we he buried.
anand so our task k is bound toe heavier and more difficult. in ago that was naacp had at the time roy wilkins. and now another clip from the documentary "scarred justice: the orangeburg massacre 1968." bakariip features .ellers he was the son of cleve sellers. this was bakari sellers commemorating the 40th anniversary of the massacre. he was right here in the mlk auauditorium at south carolina state. >> we're joined today here in her own memorial to remember three dead and 27 injured and yet another massacre that marked yet another people struggle against oppression. these men who died hehere were t martyrs to a dream, but sololdis to a cause. we find our state and indidivials within our s state
owing no shahame in making concentrated efforts to kekeep ththis day that wewe come evever to remember off the historians tongue and purged from our history books. a group of students build bonfires and sing protest songs. and with moments in front of the campus, police position themselves on how is it 01. the state police then closed in on students was shotgununs loadd with buckshot. 1001,r eight seconds -- -- joint amy: that was bakari sellers, son of cleveland sellers, remembering the massacre 40 years later. it is now 51 years. cecil williams, you were a photographer at the time. you photographed also. you did all of the high school photos of kids for the yearbook. talk about the three boys who died. >> all of them were
acquaintances of mine. i photographed milton at wilkinson high school. but at south carolina state and a daily y sis, you c could see both of themem involved in acactivities like praracticing r babaseball, fofor football -- wh they e engaged in -- were in the student center eating a bologna sandwich. amy: henry smith and samuel hammond, 19. they were students here. >> i photographed them for the book. amy: and delayno militant -- middleton was a high school student that came to see his mother at the campus. clubs he was visiting as he did sometimes, waiting on his mother to get off of work and bececame involved. i think even if he had not been -- many of the high school students and o others in the ciy also particicipated. this was not just university students. they were trying to change things. here was a segregated bowling alley, something that his citizens wanted to bowl, they
would have to go 50 miles or 100 miles round trip to columbia to bowl. amy: you are really critical in the case. talk about the shell casings you found. you were n not here that nighthf the bonfire, but the next morning you came in. word their police tape around invevestigating the crime scenef what happened? of course, it was the state troopers who killed the students. >> yes, afterer the incident was over, the next morning very earlyy -- by the way, i nearly missed been on the site. gilda reason i wasn'tt i is bece i i photographed eveverything te students did as the yearbook photographer. the next morning about 7:00, i appeared on the campus. i saw all kinds of things on the ground and started picking them up. some of them were the shells from the shotguns the highway patrol had used. those shells w were later used n an investigagation to identify which highway patrolmen shot them. in the trial, w which took place in florence, i was called inin o
testifify. in about 30 minunutes, they foud the innocent.t. it was shocking. even today, there's been no real assistance to the students were woundeded. affects usgedy that today. amy: any of the shell casings in the cecil williams museum. clubs yes. the museum is something i started because i felt there was a need to not only preserve south carolina history, but so much of our history here in this state -- we were at the forefront. amy: we're going to do part two and talk more about the history. i want to thank you so much for being here, cecil williams, photographer, author, best known for his photography documenting the civil rights movement in south carolina beginning in the 1950's. founder of the cecil williams civil rights museum in orangeburg. scsu president who runs this auditorium mccann davis, curtis bradley, and all of the other bulldog staffers who made the broadcast from the
mlk auditorium possible. a special thank you to our team. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to email@example.com or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]